Incontinence is an ongoing and at times overwhelming challenge for many people - much of it psychological. Whether you are dealing with incontinence yourself or you are a caregiver for someone who is dealing with incontinence, you can find that this problem has many different challenges. Unfortunately, one of the most common challenges is the occurrence of rash and other skin issues.
Many incontinence sufferers and caregivers find that they have to deal with the ongoing obstacle of keeping their skin healthy while using incontinence pads or adult diapers. The good news is that by taking some simple precautions you can prevent diaper rash and help to prevent painful and potentially serious infections. Here is what you need to know about preventing diaper rash.
Only about half of all adult diaper changes include a wipe to clean urine and fecal matter from the skin. Together these can cause skin breakdown, especially on older, compromised skin. You wouldn't change a baby's diaper without using a wipe, but for some reason, many adult diaper changes do not include a wipe, so that is my first recommendation.
- Know what is causing it - The first step in preventing adult diaper rash is to know what is causing it. There can be different factors that will make diaper rash much worse or more common. If the patient is not changing their incontinence undergarment enough or if they are dietary issues, they can contribute to the incidences of rash. It should never be accepted that rash is a part of incontinence. Treating rash is very possible if the underlying cause is known.
- Take the time to change - Many times a person with incontinence feels that they don't have to change their incontinence undergarment on a regular basis or they are simply unable to. This is an open invitation to diaper rash. The incontinence product that is being used should be changed on a regular basis in order to keep the moisture and the bacteria away from the skin. If the person with incontinence is unable to do this for themselves then the caregiver will need to make sure that this happens.
- Use the right incontinence supplies-Many times adult diaper rash is the result of not using the right incontinence supplies. It is critical that the person with incontinence is wearing the right incontinence undergarment. In addition, the incontinence product or adult diaper should be the right size and absorbency. Not using the right size or absorbency can lead to this problem. Finally, manufacturers of incontinence undergarments understand that men and women have very different needs when it comes to incontinence. This makes it crucial that the patient with incontinence is using the incontinence supplies that are made for their gender. Remember to use a wipe to cleanse the skin.
- Consider using creams and powder - Protection from diaper rash is not just found in the incontinence product that is used. People with incontinence and caregivers can take proactive steps to make sure that the chances of diaper rash are reduced by using skin cream and talcum powder to protect the skin. There are many different formulations of creams that can protect delicate skin that is exposed to urinary and fecal matter. Many people also find that using talcum powder can help to keep the skin dry and provide a protective barrier, as well. Think of these three steps to effective skincare: Cleanse, Moisturize and Protect.
- See a doctor if it persists - Finally, it is important that if the diaper rash has not been cleared up by any of the above-listed measures the patient should see a doctor. Diaper rash is more than just an uncomfortable nuisance. Patients with rash are at risk for far more serious infections and skin issues so they should make sure that if they have persistent diaper rash they see their health care provider. This is important for obtaining medical assistance in order to prevent more serious medical problems.